A Lancashire business leader has called for a roadmap for continued support for the county’s small businesses.
Norman Tenray, the owner of Longridge-based OBAS UK and former president of the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said a £5bn grant package announced in the Budget was “a positive start” but warned more was needed to build confidence.
He backed calls by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) extend VAT deferrals and business rates relief for the hospitality, retail, and leisure sectors until the end of the year.
OBAS UK is sponsoring the Small Business of the Year category at the Be Inspired Business Awards, The BIBAs, which has 19 prize categories open to applications to businesses from across Lancashire.
Mr Tenray said: “A support plan which covers the rest of the year would really help to build business confidence.
“If the ambition is to support businesses, keep people in jobs and encourage investment, we need to give companies the breathing space they need, as the economy reopens, to generate revenue and return to profit.
“Hasty rises in business taxation will not help the return to growth and damage the Exchequer in the long term.”
Last month, the BCC warned its research showed 65 per cent of small firms with 10 or fewer employees expected to report reduced revenues, with just over a quarter (28%) of those questioned said they did not have enough cash to last the rest of the year.
The BIBAs is open for applications and offering its winners a share in a £36,000 prize fund for the first time.
A spokesman for the awards said: “Our awards has always been not-for-profit; we do not take a penny of what our ceremony night raises.
“In previous years we have put these profits in to our BIBAs Foundation which awards grants to enterprise projects supporting young people in Lancashire, but the exceptional circumstances of the past 12 months meant we thought the best place for this cash was in the pockets of businesses.”
Last month, The BIBAs confirmed it has donated £18,000 of profits from its last awards in 2019 to the Foundation, which is managed by the Community Foundation for Lancashire.
It offers grants of up to £5,000 to individuals and organisations supporting projects which benefit 16–24-year-olds in the county.
For further details and to apply for The BIBAs visit, www.thebibas.co.uk.